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QB Christian Ponder - Minnesota Vikings

6-2, 229Born: 2-25-1988College: Florida StateDrafted: Round 1, pick 12

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Photo: Brace Hammelgarn, US Presswire

Preseason player page

Week 8: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Teddy Bridgewater is playing like what he is - an NFL rookie. No shame in it, but his numbers are making things tough on Minnesota in the 'W' column. He's thrown five interceptions vs. one TD pass over the last two games, with 157 yards passing at Buffalo last week and 188 vs. Detroit two weeks ago. Bridgewater also has absorbed 13 sacks for -84 yards over the past two weeks. It's not a good time to look for consistent production from the Vikings' passing attack, folks. There is a lot of necessary learning going on, but it doesn't make for compelling fantasy numbers week to week - just look at Greg Jennings (6/77/0 receiving last week to lead the team; 3/33/0 two weeks ago). However, this week Minnesota visits the Tampa Bay pass D - the league's worst pass D that averages 294.5 net yards allowed per game, tied for second-worst in the NFL with 15 passing scores given up vs. just four interceptions (tied for 18th in the NFL) and nine sacks (tied-25th) to date. Before last week's bye, Tampa had allowed 21/29 for 306 net yards, five TDs and zero passing TDS to Joe Flacco, and 35/57 for 371 net yards, two TDs and three interceptions to Drew Brees and company the week prior. If there is a weekend to dial up Bridgewater (or at least one of his receivers, like Jennings), this would be the weekend to do it if you can stand the downside risk of turnovers from the rookie.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDFumL
4 vs ATL 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
5 at GB 22 44 222 0 2 3 15 1 0
8 at TB PROJ-Tremblay 0 0 * * * 0 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 5 vs GB (22 / 44 / 222 / 0 / 2 pass, 3 / 15 / 1 rush)

To paraphrase former Vikings coach Dennis Green "Ponder is who we thought he was"--in this case an erratic, mediocre quarterback with accuracy issues and a lack of pocket presence. The first one appeared to be deflected by Luther Robinson, a recently promoted player from the practice squad. It was then caught by Julius Peppers, who returned it for a touchdown. It's hard to say for sure if the ball would have reached its intended target as Peppers was right in the way anyway. The second throw was all Ponder as he tossed the ball at running back Jerrick McKinnon, who was running what appeared to be a shallow post. He was well defended by linebacker Jamari Lattimore, who undercut the route and the ball was thrown behind McKinnon by Ponder as well. It looked as if Ponder threw it to Lattimore. On Ponder's defense, this was not a good showing by the Minnesota offensive line and he was under pressure or hit often during the game. He's always been a bit skittish and this just exacerbated things. Overall Ponder looked slow to make decisions, prone to making bad ones and altogether uncomfortable in the pocket both when there was pressure and when there wasn't. Teddy Bridgewater can't get healthy soon enough for the Vikings.

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Minnesota Vikings Team Links

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Schedule

8@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9vs Washington Redskins
10--- BYE WEEK ---
11@ Chicago Bears
12vs Green Bay Packers
13vs Carolina Panthers
14vs New York Jets
15@ Detroit Lions
16@ Miami Dolphins
17vs Chicago Bears